AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I have a $300 Pioneer receiver and I think it's fine for casual listening, but I think the NAD would be a worthwhile upgrade. As far as whether you would notice it, it's not something that's going to make you say "ohmigosh, it sounds completely different", but you'll find the NAD just sounds a bit cleaner, the music may sound less strained, and maybe you'll notice more detail, and the music may get your toe tapping more. Usually the differences are pretty subtle even if you are concentrating.
The speakers you listed are moderate to high efficiency speakers so the 40W would be fine for small room, the largest 325 NAD would be suitable for a medium to large room. The cool thing about NAD is that it has soft clipping which means if you push the NAD too hard, it won't distort as easily and damage your speakers.
I don't think you can do much better than NAD in terms of pure sound quality in that price range. I'd also suggest Cambridge Audio line which are comparable.
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